All White Chris Wood’s high profile move to Newcastle United might have a drama-filled sequel when his new club plays at Burnley’s Turf Moor on the last day of the English Premier League season.
The relegation rivals are due to face each other on Sunday May 22 and it’s quite possible the fate of both clubs could be decided by the match result.
With 21 rounds of the 38-game competition already played, Newcastle and Burnley are locked on 11 points in the three-club relegation zone where they sit above bottom side Norwich City.
They are two points adrift of fourth-bottom Watford who might become Newcastle United’s first opponent with Wood in their line-up.
Meanwhile, reports from the UK suggest the surprise transfer of Wood (30) may have been triggered by a remark by a representative of CAA Base, the agency that represents the New Zealander.
The Daily Mail‘s Craig Hope says he understands Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley and head coach Eddie Howe were altered to the availability of Wood while they were completing the transfer of England defender Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.
Trippier and Wood briefly played together at Barnsley in 2011, appearing three times on the same team sheet, when Wood was on a 63-day loan spell at the Yorkshire club.
Once Newcastle became aware Wood had a release clause in his Burnley contract – variously reported to be £20-25 million – they went after the deal, much to the chagrin of Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
Reports now suggest Newcastle may try to lure a third player represented by CAA Base, Torino’s Gleison Bremer (24), a Brazilian defender.
CAA Base have represented a number of top EPL players including Heung-min Son and Dele Alli (Spurs), Raphaél Varane (Manchester United), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) and James Maddison (Leicester City). They have also acted on behalf of managers including Frank Lampard, Carlo Ancelotti and Arsene Wenger.
Wood was in the final 18 months of his contract at Turf Moor having joined for £15m from Leeds in 2017. He scored 53 goals in 165 appearances for the Clarets.
Now, he becomes the leader of Newcastle’s forward line, following the likes of Jackie Milburn, Alan Shearer and Malcolm Macdonald.
And he could be on track to play two of the most important games of his career as the EPL ends.
Three weeks after the Burnley-Newcastle showdown on May 22, Woods will hope to be part of a New Zealand in an intercontinental play-off to decide whether the All Whites will go to the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.
Main photo: Courtesy Newcastle United Football Club
Here’s Chris Wood at his first press conference as a Newcastle United player